With a declining rate of black men graduating from college nationally, NABMU is needed now more than ever. NABMU's sole focus is to help black men graduate from college. NABMU provides colleges and universities with a strategic and practical approach to increase graduation rates and student involvement among black men. By establishing NABMU chapters across the country, black men will have a support system focused on enhancing their graduation efforts.
In the spring of 1995, Derek Lewis created a program entitled Black Men United at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA). This program focused on leadership training for black men and was inspired by the Million Man March. Over the next few years, the program grew more popular and played an influential role with “Black Unity Week,” a week that celebrates and honors the accomplishments of African-Americans on the campus of UCA.
Jason Smedley headed the program in the fall of 1997. With a declining rate of black men graduating from UCA, the program inspired him to create an organization that supported the needs of black men attending UCA. On January 26, 1999, Jason Smedley formalized Black Men United as a registered student organization.
For more than ten years, Black Men United has continued to lead campus and community service events, which include discussion forums and mentorship programs. These services continue to encourage dialogue concerning graduation, offer leadership opportunities for black men and generate solutions to obstacles facing African-American students.
On November 20, 2007, Jason Smedley, Chris Burton, Tony Brown, and Sydney McFoy incorporated Black Men United as the National Association of Black Men United (NABMU), a non-profit service organization.
Now with a new mission, purpose and vision, the National Association of Black Men United moves forward to empower black men pursuing a college degree with the tools, resources and services needed to graduate from college.
NABMU is not just an organization we are committed to; it is a cause that we are passionate about. We are passionate about helping black men graduate from college, but we realize it takes more than commitment and passion. It takes a unity of effort, a sound knowledge base, financial support, and a clear and concise plan of action in order to be successful. This is why we need you. We need your experience, your knowledge and your support to help NABMU succeed.
We have united our efforts to serve our fellow brethren through the National Association of Black Men United. With your help, we can assist black men in their graduation efforts. We hope that you will join us as we move forward with sharpening one another.